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About this Blog

That wor'cult'

The word 'cult' is loaded. It can be used in a derogatory manner and haphazardly. It also can be very apt. One definition of a cult that I resonate with is:

A cult is a group or movement held together by a shared commitment to a charismatic leader or ideology. It has a belief system that has the answers to all of life’s questions and offers a special solution to be gained only by following the leader’s rules. It requires a high level of commitment from at least some of the members.” (Anja Lalich, California State University, Chico, Department of Sociology, Ph.D).

That was primarily my experience in the Unification Church a.k.a. the Moonies. I know some people in the Unification Movement, including my own friends, may feel offended by my use of this term. However, this is my story and perspective, which I'm owning. I am comfortable with the definition I just shared.

Cults and cultish behaviours can occur in mainstream religions, not just offshoots. They can occur in the political world, the MLM sector and even the sporting and academic worlds. My own experience is mostly in the religious sphere.

My Moonie life included some positives: great friends, world travel, some good values, and an appreciation for people of many cultures and faiths. Importantly, I had 3 wonderful children from an arranged marriage. However, that marriage was unsuitable and marred by domestic abuse and dysfunction. In the 'Church', I also experienced conditioning, sexual abuse from elders, false theology, coercive control, and psychological and financial abuse. 

If you have left a cult or domestic abuse situation, are thinking of leaving, have family and friends in a cult (or suspect they are in a cult), I hope my blogs may provide support and insight. My Support Page  has links to organisations if you need professional support.

 

Perhaps you might be interested in writing your memoir. I shall share some tips on that along the way. You can visit my Wendy & Words Editing and Writing site for editing support: here. I am an editor with 12+ experience.

 

This blog is also for my supportive family and friends to join me on my healing journey. Thank you for walking with me with such empathy. I love you.

The 'Moonies' word

The nickname for Unification Church members, which Reuters instructs US journalists is a pejorative term, is ‘The Moonies’. We members used to wear it as a source of pride. After all, we were following the supposed Messiah, Sun Myung Moon (Rev. Moon). Some members today take offence. I use the term to help identify the group, and I'm not ashamed that I was a 'Moonie'. It was part of my journey.

Triggers

As I write my memoir, and visit regularly a psychologist to process my life, I will share blogs as things arise. Some will be memories told in story form of my experiences in the Moonies. Triggering topics could be:

#sexual abuse #spiritualabuse #religious trauma #cultdeception #psychological abuse

 #grooming #God #Jesus #religion #trauma

I may also touch on domestic abuse and arranged marriages as I experienced both. So more triggering topics could be:

#domesticviolence #domesticabuse #coercivecontrol #arrangedmarriage 

Furthermore, some blogs may contain religious or spiritual topics, which can be triggering for those who have experienced religious or spiritual abuse. While some ex-cultists are repulsed by anything to do with religion, for valid reasons, in my post-cult years I have been still spiritually searching. The past few years, I have begun unravelling my old Unification beliefs and theology even more, particularly through a Biblical lens. You see I was a Catholic Christian when I joined the Unification Church cult when I was 18 years old in 1984. Post-cult, I have travelled an eclectic path in search of God, healing and meaning through New Age spirituality, Bible-based cults and back to mainstream Christianity. Therefore, some blog stories will touch on those areas including the topics of:

 

#theology #God  #Jesus  #NewAge  #Bible #Messiahs

If reading these particular topics trigger you, you can skip those blogs posts and hopefully find some others on the general cult experience that you can resonate with. Or perhaps this blog page isn't for you. That's okay. This is certainly not a religious blog, but the topic is there as this is my journey. I do not want to contribute to anyone's religious trauma.

​​Disclaimer

I am not an expert in cult recovery or domestic violence recovery. I am not a counsellor or life coach. My writing is part of my personal healing and learning journey, and as much as I hope others reading it might find it of value, it is not to be taken as medical, psychological or spiritual advice.  Please seek support if you are triggered by my writing. Contact your GP (family doctor), psychologist,  Pastor/Minister/Priest, or any appropriate support services on my Cult Recovery Support page.

 

​When writing of my cult experiences, some names and details will be changed to protect people’s identities.

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